Vinyl wall decals are used in multiple environments. Those offering the product may come from an interior design background—such as Chicago, IL-based WALLTAT who was profiled in part one of this series. Others branch out from a leisurely pursuit and realize the business potential, such is the case for Dali Decals of Jacksonville, FL. In either scenario, the business owner sees how popular wall decals are with consumers and brand owners alike. Both look for an easy, inexpensive way to decorate walls without damaging the surface.
Hobby to Life’s Work
Dali Decals was established in 2006 in the living room of executive directors Alicia Soret and David Okun. Soret, a teacher, and Okun, a partner in a media and Web development company, worked together to offer decals primarily for vehicles and local businesses.
Today the company employs a team of ten, housed in a 9,000 square foot production facility. The Internet-based company has a worldwide customer base. Okun, Soret, and their crew design and manufacture cut and printed vinyl wall decals as well as other varieties of decals, signage, custom printed canvas, wood, acrylic, and metal prints. Dali Decals also lends its design advice to businesses looking to construct spaces utilizing either their own creations and branding or seeking the company’s resources for assistance.
Dali Decals noticed an increase in wall decal orders after it began offering the application in 2008. “We began producing wall decals after our friend, who knew we already created stickers, asked if we made wall decals as well. We quickly began exploring. Wall decals opened up a whole new opportunity for us as we began focusing our attention on creating decals for decorative use,” shares Okun.
Since March 2008, approximately 95 percent of Dali Decal’s orders were for wall decals and business grew from offering them. Over the years it expanded to offer other products and services, but wall decals remain the focus.
To create its wall decals, the company mainly uses media from Catalina Graphic Films, Inc. and ORAFOL Americas—Mojave 6-mil Wall Graphics Vinyl and ORACAL 631 Exhibition Cal and ORACAL 651 Intermediate Cal, respectively. Okun notices that as wall decals increase in popularity, more materials, and in turn, opportunities, are available for the application.
“When we first began producing wall decals, there weren’t nearly as many material options as there was currently. In recent years, the industry has definitely picked up on the emerging wall decals market and begun to produce and market materials specifically for interior wall decal applications. This increased the opportunities we had by allowing us to produce a wider range of products, as well as giving us more creative freedom and room to explore new ideas,” he says.
To print the decals, Dali Decals uses eco-solvent inks in its Roland DGA Corporation SOLJET Pro III XC-540MT and Epson Stylus Pro GS6000, or UV inks in its EFI H652. Printed graphics are cut on a Summa, Inc. S2 T Series S2 160-T and a Graphtec America, Inc. FC8000-160, while over a dozen SignWareHouse, Inc.’s Vinyl Express Q Series cutters are used for producing all of the cut vinyl decals.
Ordering and installing Dali Decals’ products is a quick and easy process. “Customers order directly through our Web site, call us to place the order over the phone, or contact us for help with a custom order. Once an order is placed, it immediately goes into our production queue, which schedules orders to be produced in the order they were received. We also offer rush processing at a surcharge for orders that need to be shipped out within 24 hours. Once the orders are completed, they are packaged and shipped. Local customers have the option to pick up their orders instead of having us ship them. Almost 100 percent of our orders are installed by our customers,” explains Okun.
Happy Owls and Birds
Jeff, a new father, reached out to the company to design wall decals that would match his baby’s bedding and nursery décor. The company designed a Happy Owls and Birds in a Colorful Tree wall decal set specifically for Jeff’s nursery.
It used Catalina’s Mojave 6mil Wall Graphics vinyl, printed in CMYK with the Roland SOLJET Pro III XC-540MT using eco-solvent inks. The design was then cut with the Graphtec FC8000-160.
“The Mojave material features good ink absorption, which results in more consistent and even colors. The thickness of the 6-mil is ideal because it offers a quality weight wall decal without the need for lamination, which is essential for interior applications, including various textured surfaces,” notes Soret.
Reaching New Heights
This do-it-yourself application is reaching new heights of notoriety. “Wall decals are an innovation in home design and décor. They present creative possibilities that would typically cost thousands of dollars to create. Completely customizable, customers get exactly what they want at an affordable price. Being easily removable and replaceable are other contributing factors to the popularity of wall decals,” says Okun.
Dali Decals and WALLTAT are part of a growing group of vendors catering to the demand for customizable, easy to apply, easy to remove, and inexpensive wall décor. Businesses such as these push the industry to create new products and extend the reach of the graphic arts.
Click here to read part one of this exclusive online series, The World of Wall Decals.